Rwanda: Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa Opposition Party, RNC, Splits

Diaspora-based opposition Rwanda National Congress (RNC) party has split into two hostile groups, side effects with one bitter section accusing renegade General Kayumba Nyamwasa of being “disruptive” and “dictatorial.”

Nyamwasa, a strong critic of President Paul Kagame, resides in South Africa where he survived an assassination attempt in June 2010.

He is accused of forming alliances with rebel movements in Eastern Congo to overthrow Kagame’s government, a charge he vehemently denies.

The rift in the leading opposition party started a few years ago with RNC officials especially the exiled and former all-powerful prosecutor general of Rwanda Gerald Gahima expressing opposition to Nyamwasa’s style of leadership.

In a meeting of RNC’s Political Bureau last month a decision was taken by a “majority vote” to go ahead with elections in August, 2016, despite dissenting opinion from Dr. Gerald Gahima, Joseph Ngarambe and Jonathan Musonera to the effect that holding elections without first discussing and resolving the major problems facing the organization would destroy it.

According to a statement issued by one of the RNC factions, Dr. Gahima resigned from what it called a “sham electoral committee which Lt. Gen. Nyamwasa controls.”

“Members of the Bureau of the Executive Committee had not, as practice has been, even had the courtesy to discuss the impending decision on election matters with the Coordinator. Subsequently, they sought but failed to deny him a chance to make his opposition to elections in turmoil known to the meeting of the next Political Bureau meeting,” the statement seen by ChimpReports on Sunday reads in part.

“Through the disruptive influence of Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa and his Tutsi military allies, and the acquiescence of Hutu elements in the Bureau of the Executive Committee, a proposal for the reformed statute of the organization was deemed unimportant and shelved, without giving a chance to the Executive Committee, the Political Bureau and RNC members to discuss it.”


It is understood Nyamwasa’s camp intends to get rid of members whose loyalty to the party is questioned.

The latest development underlines the deepening rift in Rwanda’s main opposition group sparked by suspicion, mistrust and power struggles.

The angered group says Nyamwasa has now “crowned himself the Chairman of the Electoral Commission so that he can decide on the outcomes of the August 2016 elections which,” adding, “among other things, are intended to expel those with dissenting views and install puppet subordinates over whom he has absolute control.”

Gahima’s associates claim this is a “sad and shameful” sequence of events which demonstrates that the “will of a loud minority, and the silence of a submissive majority, has now become the main driving force, replacing the spirit of debate and compromise that has brought us many achievements in the last five years.”

RNC has previously called for change of leadership in Rwanda, accusing Kagame of crushing dissent.

But Kigali insists RNC leaders are hell bent on fomenting trouble in the peaceful country and have no alternative ideas that can take Rwanda to greater heights.


Gahima’s supporters resolved that RNC undertakes “deep reforms to restore its dignity and trustworthiness”, under the name the New Rwanda National Congress (New-RNC); in French, NOUVEAU CONGRES NATIONAL RWANDAIS; and in Kinyarwanda, IHURIRO RISHYA, with exactly the same vision, objectives and strategies as inspired by Rwanda Briefing of August 2010, and enshrined in the RNC Founding Proclamation of 12th December, 2010, and the RNC Thirteen Strategies Policy Document of 2011.

Gahima’s faction also formed a ‘Steering Committee’ to run the affairs of the ‘New-RNC’ for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days, within which period the new structures and leadership will be decided upon through consultation.

Its members are Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa (Chairman), Joseph Ngarambe (Vice Chairman) and Jonathan Musonera (Secretary).

The group further stated that all members of RNC automatically become members of the New-RNC, with all rights and obligations, “but each one is free to decide to opt out.”

All members of the New-RNC will be required to sign the New-RNC Code of Conduct.


With immediate effect, reads the statement from Gahima’s backers, “we are parting with Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa, his allies, and all members of the Bureau of the Executive Committee who have submitted to his will.”

Gahima’s group said all Chairmen in regions remain in office, but have seven days during which they have to decide on their affiliation with New-RNC.

New officials were appointed to take over New-RNC leadership positions in different western countries.

Mr Chikuru Mwanamayi was appointed the Chairman of Belgium; Mr Emmanuel Nshimiyimana the Chairman of Brussels; and Mr. Eric Nkombe the Chairman of France.

The New-RNC said while it “stands by the letter and spirit” of all decisions undertaken so far under the umbrella of the opposition platform (FDU-Inkingi, AMAHORO PC, PS-Imberakuri, and PDP-Imanzi), it will “temporarily exempt itself from the proceedings of the platform in order to reorganize first.”

The new group further parted ways with the radical Radio Itahuka, saying it will therefore “not be responsible for its editorial content and activities. The New-RNC will now broadcast through another channel to be communicated as soon as possible.”

Back to top button
Translate »

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker